(Photo: Herald News Photo | Jack Foley)
The South Coast region of Massachusetts got a boost last week when Governor Deval Patrick announced over $8 million in MassWorks grants for three projects designed to improve infrastructure and spur economic growth.
The grants also underscored the Patrick Administration’s commitment to innovation, infrastructure and education as cornerstones of economic development in Massachusetts.
“Growth requires investment, and investments like these to support housing and business development will help catalyze growth in the South Coast region and beyond,” said Governor Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”
An editorial in the Fall River Herald News praised the Patrick Administration for “planting seeds for growth in Bristol County.”
The largest grant of $5 million went to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, for construction of a new bio-manufacturing facility at Fall River’s SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park. The facility has strong potential to provide significant revenue and job growth.
Dr. Michael F. Collins, Chancellor of the Umass Medical School, said, “We are at the beginning of a new era in the development and manufacture of advanced biologics to prevent and treat human diseases. We are confident that this new facility, in addition to playing a major role in life sciences research and development, will also anchor a generation of robust economic development on the South Coast.”
The Town of Dartmouth received a $2.2 million grant for infrastructure improvements to the intersection of Route 6, Route 177 and Beeden Road that will help to alleviate congestion and traffic safety concerns. The grant also supports the 42 acre Village at Lincoln Park, where 36 units of family rental housing are slated to be built. The Village at Lincoln Park also includes market rate apartments, 57 single family homes and nearly 80,000 square feet of commercial space.
The Town of North Attleboro received $1.3 million for underground utility improvements at East Street Commons, which will fund drainage, sewer, water and roadway upgrades along East Street. The infrastructure improvements will support additional public and private investments including 30,000 square feet of commercial development, 193 housing units, a new Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) bus station and a new parking area.
“By working with our local communities to identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development we are strengthening our communities where residents can live, work and play,” said Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development.
Administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation with a particular emphasis on assisting communities to advance multi-family housing development. In 2013, MassWorks awarded over $79 million for 33 infrastructure grants to support housing, economic development and road safety in communities across the state.